Lt. Gen. David D. Thompson, Vice Commander of the United States Space Force, seen at the Air Force Association, Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., in February, tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Photo by Jonathan Snyder/U.S. Air Force
Oct. 29 (UPI) — Space Force’s vice chief of space operations tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday, Space Force announced.
According to a press release issued jointly by the Space Force and the Air Force, Gen. David D. Thompson took a test for the virus after learning that a close family member had tested positive.
Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said Thompson has not shown symptoms of COVID-19 so far and was on leave last week, but returned to the Pentagon for work on Monday and Tuesday to address a virtual symposium for the National Defense Industrial Association and Texas A&M University.
He is now self-isolating and working from home.
According to Stefanek, Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., and Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett have not tested positive for the new virus within the past 24 hours.
Raymond and Brown recently ended a period of isolation after a potential exposure among the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“The Department of the Air Force continues to follow established DoD and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention policies and guidelines for COVID. Measures include temperature testing, social distancing to the greatest extent possible, the wearing of masks when social distancing is not possible, and contact tracing and quarantining, if needed,” the press release said.
As of Thursday morning a total of 55,443 COVID-19 cases had been reported in the military since the beginning of the pandemic, with 8,839 of those reported among Air Force personnel.
Earlier this month Marine Corps assistant commandant Gen. Gary Thomas and Adm. Charles Ray, vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, tested positive for COVID-19.
And last week United States Forces Korea said 13 service members had tested positive for the virus, the second time in two weeks that USFK reported personnel arriving in Korea had tested positive.
RENTON, Wash., Oct. 29, 2020
RENTON, Wash., Oct. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Providence, one of the largest health systems in the country, today announced that Sylvain “Syl” Trepanier, D.N.P., R.N., will serve as the organization’s new system-wide chief nursing officer (CNO), effective January 1, 2021.
As the new CNO, Syl will be a critical voice for nursing at the senior executive level, advocating for nurses and advanced practitioners while supporting the practice of nursing across the health system’s seven-state footprint. He will play a meaningful role in setting the system’s clinical strategy and will be at the center of workforce planning. One of Syl’s earliest responsibilities will be continuing to build momentum for Providence’s Nursing Institute and Clinical Academy, programs that provide a sustained talent pipeline of specialty nurses, nurse practitioners and clinicians.
“The CNO serves as a champion for our nurses and the invaluable role they play caring for the people in our communities, as well as ensuring we are attracting and retaining the most skilled and compassionate nurses. I know Syl will do both,” said executive vice president and chief clinical officer, Amy Compton-Phillips, M.D., to whom he will report. “With 30,000 nurses, we have a unique opportunity to show how nurses are at the heart of our mission and helping achieve our vision of health for a better world.”
Syl is currently serving as the chief clinical executive for Providence’s Southern California region. His work reduced clinical variation across the region, making Providence Southern California one of the safest places to receive care. Additionally, Syl helped lead the COVID-19 response. “Our region’s COVID-19 response demonstrates how the sharing of expertise across our system results in top-quality care, innovation and increased collaboration. I am excited to continue this work with my nursing colleagues across the Providence family of organizations,” said Syl.
Syl will follow Deb Burton, Ph.D., R.N., who will retire at the end of 2020 after serving 12 years as the CNO for Providence. Under Deb’s leadership, Providence’s successful nursing workforce development programs have gained national recognition. The Clinical Academy, a year-long program designed to launch the careers of new graduate nurses into 22 different clinical specialties, resulted in a reduction in first-year nursing turnover from 25% to roughly 9% today. Deb also led efforts to grow distance-based academic nursing and clinical programs through the University of Providence.
Prior to joining Providence Southern California in 2017, Syl served as system vice president and chief nursing officer for Premier Health in Dayton, Ohio. He also held leadership roles at Tenet in Dallas and at hospitals in South Florida. He has a doctorate in nursing from Texas Tech University, a Master of Science in Nursing, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Montreal.
Sapreme, a biotechnology company focused on improving the delivery and efficacy of macromolecule therapeutics, today announced the appointment of Miriam Bujny, Ph.D., as Chief Development Officer. With over ten years of experience in drug discovery, translational science and early stage clinical development, Dr. Bujny will apply her expertise in RNA and antibody therapeutic development to further advance Sapreme’s proprietary endosomal escape platform through preclinical development. Dr. Bujny will be based at Sapreme’s headquarters in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and will report to the CEO.
“Throughout my career, I have seen the limitations of developing promising therapeutic candidates due to the lack of delivery into key cells,” commented Dr. Bujny, Chief Development Officer of Sapreme. “Sapreme is developing a promising platform, that has the ability to improve the delivery and thereby the efficacy for a broad range of macromolecules such as antibody-conjugated toxins and antisense oligonucleotides. I look forward to applying my experience and knowledge toward Sapreme’s mission of developing next-generation macromolecule therapeutics.”
Commenting on the appointment, Guy Hermans, Chief Executive Officer of Sapreme said, “After recently announcing positive preclinical data on our proprietary endosomal escape platform, we are now concentrated on building out our team to accelerate the development of our compounds and identifying the full potential of our platform in the different therapeutic areas. Miriam’s experience in drug discovery and development as well as her demonstrated ability to strategically and operationally lead projects toward the next stage of development will be a valuable asset to us. We welcome Miriam to the team and look forward to working with her.”
Over the last ten years, Dr. Bujny has held leadership positions in various drug discovery and clinical development roles. Prior to joining Sapreme, Miriam worked at ProQR Therapeutics, a Dutch biotech company developing RNA therapies for severe genetic disorders, as Senior Director R&D. During her time at ProQR, she led the early development activities for a novel RNA therapy for Fuchs’ endothelial corneal dystrophy, a common inherited eye disease, from lead candidate optimization toward clinical development preparations. She also headed the Translational Science department and oversaw biomarker and assay development activities across a variety of RNA therapy programs for rare diseases. From 2012 to 2016, she worked in various roles for Janssen, part of the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, where she established and headed the predictive biomarker department at the Janssen Prevention Center. Before that, she worked on anti-viral antibody therapy development and contributed to early clinical development as preclinical in vitro lead. Prior to this, Miriam worked at Crucell, before its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson, in the Innovation & Discovery Labs on antibody discovery and engineering.
Dr. Bujny holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Bristol with a specialization in endosomal transport. She completed postdoctoral training in the lab of Dr. Xiaowei Zhuang at Harvard University, specializing in developing imaging methods in order to apply them to biomedical questions.
Sapreme’s mission is to develop next-generation macromolecule therapeutics by
CONNECTICUT — The number of positive cases of the coronavirus will continue to climb through mid-January, according to projections by John Murphy, the president and CEO of Nuvance Health, one of the state’s leading healthcare providers.
Murphy joined Gov. Ned Lamont at a press conference Monday, where he made the predictions of a “tough winter.” He said he makes the forecast after carefully following six models of the spread of the virus, and forming a consensus.
Driving those calculations, Murphy said, will be students returning home for the holidays, colder weather keeping people indoors, and end-of-year festivities creating large family gatherings.
Despite the forecast, Murphy was upbeat about what overall outcomes could be expected. The average hospital stay at the start of the pandemic was around 14 days, he said, and now it’s a week, a statistic that “effectively doubles our capacity.”
Healthcare professionals in Connecticut have gotten “much more aggressive about getting out in front of this,” Murphy said. Testing and tracing is much better, and the data is now shared widely. Communication is “light years ahead of where it was” early in the pandemic.
“The setting is different today than 5-6 months ago,” Murphy said. Hospital therapies are more effective, and staff is better prepared. “Seven months has taught us a great deal of how to combat it.”
Nuvance operates hospitals in Norwalk, Danbury, New Milford and Sharon within Connecticut, and three more in New York.
Patients over the age of 80 who end up on a ventilator are still at a very high risk, Murphy said, but the COVID-19 patient admitted at a Nuvance hospital today is on average 5-10 years younger than they were in the spring. “What that means is there are fewer comorbidities.”
Lamont said he is drawing inspiration from the way countries and municipalities are handling the pandemic in Europe.
“Europe is the canary in the coal mine,” according to Lamont. He said that, unlike the U.S., European countries favor curfews as a means to limit the spread of the virus.
“The lockdowns are much more limited,” the governor said, pointing to riots in Italy to illustrate the intolerance the population has for them.
As in the U.S., Europe is keeping school grades K-8 open as much as they can, Lamont said, but noted that gathering restrictions in some countries are kept to a minimum of six.
With just 6.54 hospitalizations per 100,000 population, Connecticut is on the healthier end of the U.S. spectrum, 7th best overall. North Dakota is at the far end, with over 40 hospitalizations per 100,000 people. The national average is 14. France, which Lamont said is about three months ahead of the U.S. in terms of the coronavirus spread, is now at 105 hospitalizations per 100,000 population.
In Connecticut, the number of hospitalizations was up by 37 beds over the past weekend, according to the latest data from the Department of Public Health.
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White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Sunday said the Trump administration is “not going to control the pandemic,” and will instead “control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics, and other mitigations.”
Meadows made his comments during an interview on CNN, and when asked to elaborate on why the pandemic can’t be contained, he said, “because it is a contagious virus just like the flu. What we need to do is make sure that we have the proper mitigation factors, whether it’s therapies or vaccines or treatments to make sure that people don’t die from this.”
On Friday and Saturday, the U.S. reported more than 83,000 new coronavirus cases, and as of Sunday, more than 224,000 Americans have died of the virus. Despite health officials warning against large gatherings and urging the use of masks to curb the spread of coronavirus, President Trump continues to hold big campaign rallies, with people standing next to each other and face coverings optional. Meadows defended the campaign events by saying, “We live in a free society.”
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden commented on Meadows’ remarks, saying this wasn’t “a slip by Meadows, it was a candid acknowledgment of what President Trump’s strategy has clearly been from the beginning of this crisis: to wave the white flag of defeat and hope that by ignoring it, the virus would simply go away. It hasn’t, and it won’t.”
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The White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said the U.S. won’t be able to contain COVID-19 as new cases continue to hit record highs.
“We’re not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday. “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations.” When asked why the U.S. can’t attempt to curb the virus, Meadows said, “Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.”
Instead, Meadows said that “what we need to do is make sure that we have the proper mitigation factors, whether it’s therapies or vaccines or treatments to make sure that people don’t die from this.”
Tapper: “Why not make efforts to contain it?”
Meadows: “We are making efforts to contain it.”
Tapper: “By running all over the country not wearing a mask?”
Meadows: “What we need to do is make sure we have the proper mitigation factors… make sure people don’t die from this”
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 25, 2020
Meadows’ remarks fall in line with the Trump administration’s lack of a plan for containing the virus, like say, implementing national guidelines to control the infection rate. Over 224,000 Americans have died since the pandemic’s outset, with health officials encouraging the public to continue wearing masks, as they could save almost 130,000 lives in the coming months.
During his CNN interview, which was received online with a combination of shock and outrage, Meadows also defended the large campaign rallies that Trump has continued to host as the election nears, where masks and social distancing measures aren’t enforced. “We live in a free society,” Meadows said after Tapper pushed him on the rallies.
The U.S. reported 83,757 new confirmed cases on Friday, eclipsing the previous daily record of 77,300 in mid-July. On Saturday, the country reported an additional 83,718 cases. As CNBC points out, research suggests that the U.S. could see over 500,000 total deaths by the end of February if states don’t intensify pandemic limitations.
Meadow’s interview inspired a visceral action online and beyond, with Joe Biden slamming the Trump administration for its failure to safeguard the U.S. “Mark Meadows stunningly admitted this morning that the administration has given up on even trying to control this pandemic, that they’ve given up on their basic duty to protect the American people,” the former vice president said in a statement.
“This wasn’t a slip by Meadows, it was a candid acknowledgement of what President Trump’s strategy has clearly been from the beginning of this crisis: to wave the white flag of defeat and hope that by ignoring it, the virus would simply go away. It hasn’t, and it won’t.”
— Hanna Trudo (@HCTrudo) October 25, 2020
Biden wasn’t the only one who chimed in. Check out reactions to Meadows’ interview below.
Meadows admitted it: They surrendered. They capitulated.
The White House might have surrendered. But Americans haven’t.
In NY, we proved that we CAN control this virus.
And that’s what
At least three top aides to Vice President Mike Pence have tested positive for the coronavirus in the last few days, people briefed on the matter said. The test results raise fresh questions about the safety protocols at the White House, where masks are not routinely worn.
The vice president’s chief of staff, Marc Short, has tested positive, according to Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for Mr. Pence, who leads the White House coronavirus task force. A person briefed on Mr. Short’s diagnosis said it was received on Saturday.
“Vice President Pence and Mrs. Pence both tested negative for Covid-19 today, and remain in good health,” Mr. O’Malley said. “While Vice President Pence is considered a close contact with Mr. Short, in consultation with the White House Medical Unit, the vice president will maintain his schedule in accordance with the C.D.C. guidelines for essential personnel.”
The statement did not come from the White House medical unit, but instead from a press aide. Two people briefed on the matter said that the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, had sought to keep news of the outbreak from becoming public.
On Sunday, in an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Mr. Meadows denied that he had tried to suppress news of the outbreak, saying he had acted out of concern about “sharing personal information.”
A Trump adviser briefed on the outbreak, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said that the Pence adviser Marty Obst also tested positive this week. Mr. Obst’s positive test was first reported by Bloomberg News.
Another person briefed on the developments, who also was not allowed to speak publicly, said that three additional Pence staff members had tested positive. Mr. O’Malley did not immediately respond to a question about others who have tested positive.
Mr. Pence’s decision to continue campaigning, despite his proximity to his chief of staff, is certain to raise fresh questions about how seriously the White House is taking the risks to its staff members and to the public as the pandemic has killed nearly 225,000 people in the United States. The vice president’s office said that both Mr. and Mrs. Pence tested negative again on Sunday.
President Trump, the first lady and several aides and advisers tested positive for the virus roughly three weeks ago. Mr. Trump spent three nights at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and he was treated with an experimental antibody cocktail as well as the powerful steroid dexamethasone.
The administration decided not to trace the contacts of guests and staff members at the Rose Garden celebration on Sept. 26 for the Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, which also included a reception inside the White House. That event was linked to an outbreak that grew to more than 20 cases, as evidence mounted that the administration had done little to prevent or contain the virus’s spread.
Mr. Trump, at rallies over the past two days, has insisted the country is “rounding the turn” on the virus, even
WASHINGTON—Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short, a campaign adviser and at least three other staffers have tested positive for Covid-19, but with just days left until Election Day, President Trump’s running mate will continue to maintain his schedule.
Mr. Pence, the head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, considers himself to be a close contact of Mr. Short, who tested positive on Saturday, according to a statement from Pence spokesman Devin O’Malley.
Marty Obst, Mr. Pence’s longtime political adviser, also recently tested positive, according to people familiar with the matter, and at least three additional staff in the vice president’s office have also tested positive, one person familiar with the matter said.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday morning that multiple staffers close to Mr. Pence had tested positive but didn’t identify others beyond Mr. Short by name.
“Marc Short and a couple of key staff around the vice president have come down with the coronavirus,” Mr. Meadows said on CNN. “We certainly wish them the very best.”
The vice president, who tested negative on Saturday along with his wife, has decided not to quarantine, Mr. O’Malley said. Mr. Pence consulted with White House medical staff, and will instead follow guidelines for “essential personnel.” Mr. Pence’s office declined additional comment.
Coronavirus in the White House
According to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the close contact of a person infected with Covid-19 should quarantine “even if you test negative” because symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
Mr. Pence is scheduled to campaign in North Carolina on Sunday and in Minnesota on Monday. Mr. Meadows said that the vice president would take extra precautions as he maintains his schedule, including wearing a mask and social distancing.
“Obviously when you have an exposure, you have to take additional mitigation factors to do that,” he said.
The announcement of the positive tests comes three weeks after President Trump and multiple members of his staff tested positive for coronavirus. Mr. Trump’s infection required a three-night stay in the hospital. He returned to the campaign trail 11 days after his initial positive test.
Katie Miller, Mr. Pence’s press secretary, tested positive for the virus in May. She has since returned to work.
The U.S. added nearly 84,000 coronavirus cases Saturday for the second-straight day. Saturday’s total of 83,718 new cases marked the second-highest single-day count after the record 83,757 infections logged Friday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has reported nearly 8.58 million infections in total, with the death toll nearing 225,000.
Write to Michael C. Bender at Mike.Bender@wsj.com
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CNN’s Jake Tapper presses White House chief of staff after top Pence aides test positive for coronavirus
CNN anchor Jake Tapper grilled White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Sunday, hours after it was revealed that top aides to Vice President Mike Pence tested positive for the coronavirus, a development that under CDC guidelines would call for Pence, who has been in close contact with them, to go into quarantine. But Pence is continuing to hit the campaign trail.
In a heated interview on “State of the Union,” Meadows insisted that Pence was “essential personnel” and therefore exempt from the guidelines. Pence hosts a Sunday campaign rally in North Carolina and on Monday is hosting one in Minnesota.
“CDC guidelines say that Vice President Pence should quarantine for 14 days,” Tapper said.
“He’s not just campaigning,” Meadows insisted. “He’s working.”
At least four aides to Pence, including his chief of staff, Marc Short, have reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days. According to the New York Times, which cited anonymous sources, Meadows had sought to keep the White House from disclosing the latest outbreak. The news was released late Saturday night. On CNN, Meadows said he was concerned about the privacy of the infected staffers.
The revelation marks the second round of infections within the White House’s top ranks after many senior officials, including President Trump, who was hospitalized and given treatment for someone with severe symptoms, tested positive earlier this month.
According to the latest tracking data from Johns Hopkins University, about 225,000 Americans have died so far from the virus. But Trump has repeatedly downplayed the danger from the virus ahead of the Nov. 3 election, insisting that the nation has “turned a corner” in the fight.
Friday saw the highest number of new COVID-19 infections in the U.S. since the outbreak began, which Trump, as he has for months, dismissed as an artifact of increased testing. But the percentage of positive tests has been increasing, along with hospitalizations.
Trump has held mass rallies in some of the hardest-hit states, including Wisconsin, where he campaigned Saturday night in Waukesha, and has continued to attack local governments for maintaining lockdown efforts.
Mark Meadows: “We’re not going to control the pandemic, we are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations.”
Jake Tapper: “Why aren’t we going to get control of the pandemic?”
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 25, 2020
On CNN, Meadows admitted the White House was no longer trying to “control” the virus.
“We’re not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation,” he said.
“Why aren’t we going to get control of the pandemic?” Tapper pushed back.
Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday, Pence’s office announced.
Pence and his wife Karen both tested negative for the coronavirus on Saturday and “remain in good health,” Pence’s press secretary Devin O’Malley in a statement Saturday, and Short “began quarantine and assisting in the contact tracing process” the same day.
Three more of the vice president’s staff members along with an adviser to Pence have also reportedly tested positive for the virus.
“While Vice President Pence is considered a close contact with Mr. Short, in consultation with the White House Medical Unit, the Vice President will maintain his schedule in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel,” O’Malley said.
Pence is currently on the campaign trail and held rallies in Lakeland and Tallahassee in Florida on Saturday. Less than two weeks out from the presidential election, he plans to travel to North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota soon as well.
Aides who were found to have had close contact with Short were reportedly taken off Pence’s trip before it began.
Short’s positive coronavirus diagnosis, the latest among many senior White House officials who have contracted the virus in recent weeks, comes nearly two weeks after President Trump tested negative for the virus after being hospitalized for several days with the virus earlier this month.
The CDC has recommended that essential workers who have had close contact with an individual who tested positive for the virus wear a mask for 14 days “at all times while in the workplace.”
More than 224,000 people have died after being infected with the coronavirus in the U.S., and more than 8 million people have contracted the virus.